The alarming spread of multiresistant infections has kick-started the quest for alternative antimicrobials. In a way, given the steady increase in untreatable infectious diseases, success in this endeavor has become a matter of life and death. Perhaps we should stop searching for an antibacterial panacea and explore a multifaceted strategy in which a wide range of compounds are available on demand depending on the specific situation. In the context of this novel tailor-made approach to combating bacterial pathogens, the once forgotten phage therapy is undergoing a revival. Indeed, the compassionate use of bacteriophages against seemingly incurable infections has been attracting a lot of media attention lately. However, in order to take full advantage of this strategy, bacteria’s natural predators must be taken from their environment and then carefully selected to suit our needs. In this review, we have explored the vast literature regarding phage isolation and characterization for therapeutic purposes, paying special attention to the most recent studies, in search of findings that hint at the most efficient strategies to identify suitable candidates. From this information, we will list and discuss the traits that, at the moment, are considered particularly valuable in phages destined for antimicrobial therapy applications. Due to the growing importance given to biofilms in the context of bacterial infections, we will dedicate a specific section to those characteristics that indicate the suitability of a bacteriophage as an antibiofilm agent. Overall, the objective is not just to have a large collection of phages, but to have the best possible candidates to guarantee elimination of the target pathogens.
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